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For Immediate Release:


At 100% Seat Belt Use, More than 60 Lives Can be Saved Every Year in Maryland

May 16, 2017

Hanover, MD – Maryland has kicked off its participation in the national Click It or Ticket campaign to encourage seat belt use. Maryland will take part in a multi-state, border-to-border enforcement event on May 22, and additional seat belt enforcement will take place over the next several weeks. Tickets for not buckling up are $83, but the real cost has a far greater impact.
“Crashes are violent and can happen unexpectedly,” said Maryland Department of Transportation (MDOT) Secretary Pete K. Rahn. “A seat belt is your best defense in a crash and often means the difference between life and death.”
“Every day officers see people who could have been saved from death or injury if they were properly belted,” said Riverdale Park Police Chief and Maryland Chiefs of Police Association President David Morris. “This isn’t about writing tickets; it’s about changing behavior. If receiving a ticket urges drivers to start buckling up, we can’t put a price tag on saving their life or the life of someone they love.”
At 91 percent, Maryland has one of the highest rates of seat belt use in the nation among drivers and front seat passengers. However, that rate sharply declines for those riding in the back seat. Data shows that unbelted passengers in back seats have nearly a three times greater risk of sustaining fatal or serious injuries than those who are belted. 
“It’s vitally important to buckle up in all seats,” stated MDOT Motor Vehicle Administration (MDOT MVA) Administrator Christine Nizer, who doubles as Governor Larry Hogan’s Highway Safety Representative. “Unbelted passengers become projectiles. Make a plan to have everyone who is riding in your vehicle buckle up – day and night, in every seat.”
Seat belt use is especially important in pickup trucks and SUVs, which are more likely to roll over than passenger cars. Seat belts can reduce the risk of death from crashes in light trucks by as much as 60 percent. 
Bottom line – pick up the habit and put on your seat belt. Save yourself $83 and maybe save a life. 
Editor’s Note: Learn more about the MDOT Highway Safety Office’s Toward Zero Deaths campaign at, on Facebook at @towardzerodeathsmd, on Twitter at @tzd_maryland, and on Instagram at twdzerodeaths_md.  For the latest MDOT News, follow us on twitter @MDOTNews and #MDOTNews.


Erin Henson
MDOT Public Affairs

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